Tag Archives: Self Help

What’s New With e-Filing Court Documents

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It’s been a while since we’ve discussed electronic filing of court documents, so it’s time to note some recent “e-filing” developments. Our original 2009 post provides a good introduction to the process, and the reasons it’s being implemented. In a nutshell, filing court documents electronically saves time, money, and paper. Instead of typing up a form from scratch – or completing a fillable PDF document online and printing it out – all the work is done on your computer. Instead of then delivering that paper document to the court clerk, you simply transmit it from your computer. In addition to … Read More

BEYOND THE PAPERWORK: PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR OBTAINING A PROTECTION ORDER

When you seek an order of protection, you should be fully aware of the gravity of the request and its legal consequences.  An order of protection (or restraining order, protection order, or no-contact order, depending the jurisdiction and relationship of the parties) is a court-issued document that prohibits an individual (the respondent/defendant) from directly contacting the petitioner/victim.  Protection orders are frequently filed to prevent acts or threats of domestic violence, stalking, and harassment, although they can be used to bar other types of abusive or menacing behavior.

A protection order must be issued by a court.   A petitioner may seek … Read More

Court Rules

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Every court has specific rules that must be followed by all parties. Lawyers who regularly practice in a given court are very familiar with the rules of that court. They often know the rules so well that they don’t have to look them up. But you have to look them up. Even if  you are representing yourself in court – known as appearing pro se (Latin for “for oneself”) – you will be expected to follow those rules. That means you’ll first have to find them. Fortunately, most court rules can be found online.

State court systems have statewide rules … Read More

Subpoenas: Compelling Your Appearance

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We all know that you have to show up in court if you are a party to a case being tried – i.e, if you are the defendant in a criminal case, or the plaintiff or defendant in a civil lawsuit. But if you are just a witness, do you also have to show up in court?

The answer is yes, if the judge or one of the attorneys thinks your testimony is important. The court will issue a subpoena, which is a document commanding your appearance in court to testify as a witness. In some cases, the … Read More

Services for Crime Victims

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With the Trayvon Martin case, including the recent second degree murder charges against George Zimmerman making national news, violent crime is at the forefront of the nation’s consciousness. The Martin/Zimmerman case has raised questions about who the true victim really was. Although we may not know the answer to that question until the case has been resolved, unfortunately there are thousands of crimes committed every day, leaving victims to deal with the  aftermath. Often there is so much focus on the perpetrators of crime that the victim gets somewhat left behind by court systems. However, more and more courts are … Read More

Mediation: an Alternative to Foreclosure

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Judicial foreclosure exists in nearly every state in the United States. Generally, a lender initiates a foreclosure action when the property owner/borrower has failed to make mortgage payments. In a judicial foreclosure, the lender must go through the court system, filing a complaint and serving the borrower. In most states, the court will then either find for the borrower or for the lender. If the court finds that the borrower has indeed defaulted on his or her loan a judgement will be entered for the lender. The lender can then hold a sheriff’s sale of the property in order to … Read More

Discover Your Rights with Self-Help Resources

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Do you know how to file a lawsuit with a court, the correct way to perform service of process, or how to create a parental plan in a divorce and custody case?  An attorney is not necessarily the only person who can effectively answer this question.  Although it is very advisable to seek legal advise from a professional, especially for complicated matters, there may be self help options you can also turn to.  Even in circumstances where you enlist the help of a qualified legal professional, using self-help services can provide you with an arsenal of knowledge to help you … Read More